Date of Conferral



Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Social Work


Sean R. Hogan


Social workers play an important role in the implementation of patient-centered care (PCC) within an interdisciplinary treatment team in an inpatient psychiatric unit. The PCC approach can become overwhelming and stressful for interdisciplinary team members because the definition of PCC varies across disciplines. The purpose of this qualitative action research study was to explore social workers’ perceptions of their role within an interdisciplinary team, including barriers to social work inclusion and PCC. Ecological systems theory provided the framework for the study. Interview data were collected from 2 focus groups containing a total of 10 purposively selected social workers. A grounded theory approach was used to analyze the data. Findings indicated the need for better communication among and education for interdisciplinary psychiatric team members regarding the scope of social work practice. Participants reported being devalued as members of the interdisciplinary team and confirmed that the definition of PCC varies across disciplines, which creates barriers for social work facilitation of PCC within the interdisciplinary team. Findings may be used to mitigate gaps that inhibit interdisciplinary team practice of PCC, which may improve social work practice with veterans.

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